Down on the Farm: August 24- Morejon, Lauer & Keel

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Credit: EVT News

DSL Padres (24-45): 7-1 win vs DSL Blue Jays

AZL Padres (23-25): OFF

AZL Padres 2 (28-19): 7-3 win vs AZL Indians

Tri Ciy Dust Devils (36-31): 4-3 loss @ Spokane

Fort Wayne TinCaps (63-67): 2-1 loss @ Lake County

Lake Elsinore Storm (58-69): 6-1 win @ Rancho Cucamonga

San Antonio Missions (73-55): DOUBLEHEADER VS FRISCO: Missions 3-0, Frisco 1-3

El Paso Chihuahuas (65-66): 6-1 win vs Sacramento

Key Performers:

CF Tirso Ornelas (2-4, 2B, HR, 2R, 2BI, 2SO)

Tirso Ornelas continues to play well in the Arizona League. The seventeen-year-old does not turn eighteen until next March, and he is already turning heads. Tonight, Ornelas hit his third AZL home run and his ninth double, raising his average up to .269. Coming into the night, the Tijuana native had a 17.2% BB rate. Given his age, that is not too shabby at all. Ornelas is currently in the midst of a hot streak; hitting .341 with three homers and eleven RBI in his last ten games.

RHP Walker Lockett (2.0IP, 2H, R, 0ER, BB, SO)

Tonight, Walker Lockett made his second rehab start in the Arizona League, throwing two innings. The right-hander, who was definitely a candidate to reach the big leagues in 2017, has been dealing with back problems all year. The 23-year-old had missed nearly three months due to injury.

LHP Adrian Morejon (4.0IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 2K, HR)

Morejon struggled for the second straight outing tonight, and his ERA now sits at 4.76 for the TinCaps. The 18-year-old struggled with command from the start of his outing, and it eventually caught up to him in his final frame. In 22 innings in the Midwest League, Morejon has struck out seventeen batters while walking twelve. That’s not great. He still has a lot of work to do, and although he has the potential to be a stud, there are going to be learning pains along the way. He is in the midst of one of those pains right now. He will be back in the Midwest League to start 2018.

Credit: Milb

LHP Jerry Keel (9.0IP, 2H, R, ER, 3BB, 9K, HR)

Jerry Keel dominated on Thursday night against a very, very good lineup. The left-hander struck out nine, walked three, and gave up only two hits en route to a complete game victory. The lone blemish for Keel was a second inning home run. Besides that, he kept Rancho Cucamonga on their heels the entire night. The 23-year-old has had a rough go of it in the California League this season, but tonight’s outing was a show of what he can be when he is on top of his game.

(side note: I actually got a chance to ask Keel a few questions early on this season)

1B Fernando Perez (3-4, 3B, HR, 4RBI, R)

The 23-year-old Perez led Lake Elsinore’s offense on Thursday, driving in four of their six runs while falling just a double shy of the cycle. The former third-round draft pick opened the year with the Missions, where he struggled to a .212/.279/.302 clip. He was demoted after the Padres decided to promote Josh Naylor to Double-A. Since Perez’s demotion, he has hit .291 with an OPS over .800 in the California League.

RF Franmil Reyes (1-3, HR, R, 3RBI, 2SO)

Franmil Reyes stays hitting bombs in the Texas League. Tonight, he hit his fifth home run in ten games for the Missions. In that ten game stretch, Reyes has twelve RBI and has five walks. The 22-year-old continues to hit for tremendous home run power and has driven in 93 runs for the Missions thus far. The 100 RBI mark seems like a given for the right fielder out of the Dominican Republic.

LHP Eric Lauer (5.0IP, 4H, ER, 2BB, 4K)

Since giving up seven earned runs in back-to-back July starts, Eric Lauer has readied the ship. In his last four outings, Lauer has given up a total of three earned runs and has struck out seventeen batters in twenty innings. The command still is not what it needs to be (nine walks in his last four starts), and that is what has been mostly to blame for him not being able to pitch deeper into ballgames. Regardless, one would have to figure for the command to return some time or another as Lauer continues to settle into Double-A.

RF Hunter Renfroe (3-4, 2B, 3R)

Hunter Renfroe is now hitting (7-12) .583 in three games with the Chihuahuas. He has four extra base hits in three games. Bottom line: He will be back in San Diego soon.

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